Revisiting “Green” Challenges and Opportunities for Industrial Companies

Back in February, we discussed “Green Initiatives” and what companies big and small can do to provide greater sustainability. Our focus on the topic developed through many discussions internally, with vendors, customers and strategic partners, spearheaded by mostly younger managers here.  Sometimes those discussions became heated as “Traditionalists” battled the “Firebrands” for the “moral and practical” high ground. Now, with April being Earth Month, we felt it was time to revisit this topic to better explain how we do things on a personal level, and why.

On a basic level, we realize that every choice we make will impact other businesses in some way. Take hand-washing, for example: In public facilities, we’re often given the choice of using paper towels or an electric hand dryer to dry off. Many  people will head straight for the electric dryer in an effort to save paper, but many industrial leaders won’t. Aside from the argument for overall cleanliness (hand blowers spread thousands of germs during use), there’s also the argument for our customers. Paper companies buy our products for their production, warehousing and transportation requirements.  We are a traditional supplier to traditional industries, and while the mold must be recast and re-designed from time to time as demands and perceptions change, the smashing of the mold altogether all at once will severely impact our business and our industry.

However, this isn’t to say that we’re against change altogether. As the next generation begins to take over the shop floor, we as leaders need to provide some support and guidance to keep things running and attract new talent.  Shutting down new ideas doesn’t encourage growth, so it’s all about finding a balance between sustainable environmental practices and building a sustainable business model.

Industrial QR Code

QR Codes for Material Handling Equipment

As such, Liftomatic is proud to announce to our customers, present and future- that we’ve adopted several new protocols to decrease our footprint, while emphasizing cost control for our customers and stability for our organization. Beginning in the second quarter of 2016, we’re including all new QR code labels on every Liftomatic product. Doing so will allow a tremendous reduction in paper between us and our customers; it will allow you to access needed information, technical specs, bulletins and parts and maintenance requirements  directly from our website using any hand held mobile device. Further, we’ve contracted for state-of-the-art LED lighting throughout our production facility here in Illinois. It’s a significant investment, but the appropriate managers proved their case with ROI and the spirit of the initiative and we’ve agreed to proceed.

We’re also looking at changes in packaging, communications and production,  and we’ll continue to provide updates as they come. As we near our 70th anniversary, Liftomatic will continue to work diligently to challenge convention, ask the un-asked questions and look at all of the angles to continue bringing the highest quality, most durable, and safest drum handling devices that are available anywhere in the world.  We continue to keep that focus first and foremost.

3 Tools to Improve Trucking Efficiency

Workers in the trucking sector face a number of challenges on the road. From keeping track of their driving time, to finding areas to rest and eat, and then moving materials on and off the trucks at each stop. It’s a rewarding job, but one that requires a lot of planning and a lot of muscle. Fortunately, incorporating the right tools into your process can greatly improve your time on and off the road.

Fleet Tracking Tools

One of the major issues associated with managing a large fleet is keeping track of all of the drivers and shipments. GPS truck tracking systems make things easier by allowing companies to monitor everything from truck speed, idling time, breaks during the day, etc. It also improves customer service since customers can be made aware of where their shipments are and when they can be expected to arrive.

Living on the Go

Truck drivers don’t have a lot of options when it comes to eating and sleeping during a long trip. They depend heavily on rest stops along the way, which can be few and far between. App developers have caught on to the need for this information, and have designed a few apps available for download that help drivers find the nearest rest stops from wherever they are. A number of options are available for download, such as Rest Stops Plus.  “Team-driving,” often involving husband and wife teams- has become popular today too!

Product Loading/Unloading

A trucker’s job doesn’t end once he or she gets to a destination. Loading and unloading materials is the next step. Since many products are shipped in 55-gallon drums, it’s important for fleet managers to provide workers with the proper drum handling equipment. A regular forklift doesn’t have the right attachments to secure drums, so providing hand truck drum handlers, which are portable and can carry up to 1,000lbs, offer an added layer of safety and utility.

Of course, transportation and shipping companies have many more challenges to contend with than those mentioned above. For companies that provide global freight service, like Estes Express or FedEx, monitoring shipments through air and across oceans presents its own set of challenges. But thanks to modern technology, even these jobs are getting easier to manage. We’re always interested in the next innovations to come out of this sector, and are continuously adding to our own product lines of drum handling equipment to provide even more solutions.